Zion Williamson is currently dealing with a right foot injury which has kept him sidelined since the end of last season. The New Orleans Pelicans standout is yet to play a full regular season, a situation that won't change this campaign.
Added to his injury, the player's fitness has come into question since he entered the league as the No. 1 overall pick in 2019. That hasn't changed this season, and even though he's not playing or seen in public, the player has been criticized for being out of shape.
It's unclear when he will return to the court, but some are already saying he shouldn't come back this season, seeing how bad the Pelicans are performing. ESPN's Kendrick Perkins recently made this case, suggesting Zion should sit out for the rest of the season and come back for the 2022/23 campaign.
“Shut him down,” Perkins said on NBA Today. “There’s no reason to even bring him back. The Pelicans are not going anywhere. We all know that it’s more to the foot. It’s more about Zion not being in shape. Go get some dietitian, get some things together in-house with Zion, get him to get his body right, and bring him back next year.”
This is an interesting and controversial idea from Perkins. It's hard to find somebody within the Pelicans organization who agrees with him. Recently, Brandon Ingram discussed his aspirations for the team with and without Zion. He knows they're struggling, but claimed Williamson's help would uplift their level.
Zion's weight is a big source of concern for the Pelicans. They have modified their culinary practices to help their future superstar, and that's a big move for the franchise. Hopefully, things can improve for Zion and his team. They need to be on the same page if they aspire to make the playoffs in the next couple of seasons.